Groundbreaking stem cell treatment is offering a dad-of three a life changing chance.

Five years after unsuccessful treatment in Poland for his multiple sclerosis, the 33-year-old, is travelling to London for the most up-to-date stem cell therapy.

Barry McArthur is currently confined to a wheelchair, is dependent on wife Katy and cannot play with his three young sons.

When he made the journey to Poland he was convinced the £10,000 he’d scraped together to fund a special vein irrigation treatment would pay off.

But the Katowice clinic experiment failed, offering little more than a false dawn to the many hopeful Scots who had travelled to Eastern Europe, such as radio legend Tiger Tim Stevens.

Barry said: “I was okay for three or four months but then my situation worsened.

“I went back to Poland to see the doctors at the clinic and they checked me over.

“But it was a disappointing trip, with no MRI or scanning of the brain.

“I had no idea why I’d had felt better immediately after the vein irrigation treatment and why I’d gone back to the way I was.

“And I’m now in a wheelchair permanently.”

Next month Barry,  who has remitting MS, will undertake ground-breaking stem cell treatment in London.

The lifeline which could enable him to live out a life he’s dreamed of since he was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease in his early twenties.

That includes returning to work as a quantity surveyor and kicking a ball in the park with his three little boys.

He said: “I’ve been researching stem cell treatments for MS and this treatment is getting great results.

“Back in May when I spoke to my neurologist Colin O’Leary about the possibility of being treated by the NHS he wasn’t able to offer any hope.

“In fact, he said to me he didn’t recommend I have the treatment, but he wished me all the best in my attempts to find an improvement.

“I was so desperate I looked abroad to clinics in Sweden for example and after weighing up the options decided to go to Mexico for the stem cell treatment.”

Barry’s brother-in-law Richard McFadyen, also a quantity surveyor, offered to pay for the flight and the cost of treatment.

Barry said: “He’s an incredible man.

“And when he told me this I fixed a date.”

However, Barry’s next conversation with his neurologist, a few months later, saw his life plans take off in a new direction.

He said: “He decided he would now put me up for having stem cell treatment in London.

“And next month I’m set to go down to the Charing Cross hospital and have my first examination, to make sure my body can cope.”

MS is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system attacks its own nerve cells.

This affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing problems with muscle movement, balance and vision.

The new stem cell treatment involves using high doses of chemotherapy to “knock out” the existing faulty cells of the immune system, before rebuilding it using clean stem cells taken from the patient’s own blood.

The process has been described as ‘like giving the immune system the chance to reboot.’

Barry said: “Your immune system ends up healthy and clean.”

Barry who worked as a fundraiser for  the Anne Rowling Centre in Edinburgh which was set up to find cures for neurodegenerative diseases, has never stopped researching the progress of treatments.

He said: “I’ve been talking to people on social media from around the world and discovered people who’ve had great results with stem cell treatments.

“I’ve learned that it can take a couple of years from having the treatment to getting a major improvement but the likes of one Russian woman offers great hope when she said she can do something different with her body every day.”

The stem cell treatments however, won’t work (at this stage at least) for the sufferers of the illness who have had the disease for more than 10 years.

And not everyone will be able to tolerate the aggressive chemotherapy used.

Barry added: “I’m sad that the likes of Tiger Tim won’t be able to benefit at the moment.

“Tim’s attitude, his positivity in dealing with the illness has been a great encourager for me.”

The hope is that science will progress fast enough to help sufferers such as Tim, who has had the disease for more than 30 years.

Barry said: “Up until Christmas I was doing voluntary work, now I can’t do anything but wait, and hope.
“But I’m really optimistic about getting better with this new treatment.

“The results from around the world have been great and I’m sure stem cell treatments will offer the way ahead for people with degenerative illnesses. I’m hopeful, that life will really be better for Katy and my boys.”